Trump Talks Iran, Syria With Netanyahu Ahead of Helsinki Summit With Putin

'I thanked President Trump for his strong policy against Iran because since this policy has been taken, we have seen a great effect on – and inside – Iran,' Netanyahu said

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, July 11, 2018.
\ POOL/ REUTERS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday concerning "security and diplomatic issues in light of developments in the region, with Syria and Iran first and foremost, of course."

>>Russia-Israel deal is clear: Iran away from border, Assad’s rule accepted | Analysis

These issues, Netanyahu said, will also come up during Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tuesday in Helsinki. "I thanked President Trump for his strong policy against Iran because since this policy has been taken, we have seen a great effect on – and inside – Iran. President Trump clearly reiterated his commitment to the security of Israel and his willingness to help the State of Israel in various fields and, of course, I thanked him for that."

Trump meets Putin in the Finnish capital on Monday. Last week, Netanyahu flew out to Moscow for talks with Putin that focused on Israel's demand that Iranian forces leave Syria. 

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham doubled down on his unusual warning to Israel on Thursday about any attempts to reach an agreement with Russia over the situation in Syria, saying it could potentially affect U.S. national security interests.

Responding to a Haaretz.com tweet quoting Netanyahu saying that Israel doesn't have a problem with the Assad regime, Graham tweeted: "Just to be clear: Without Iran/Hezbollah, Syria's Assad would not be in power and would not have the ability to slaughter almost a half-million Syrians. Without Assad’s blessing, the flags of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would not be on Israel’s front door." 

When asked about Graham's tweet, Netanyahu said that Israel acts with full transparency with the United States. He added that he agrees with Graham that Israel should act against Iran's presence in Syria.